Finding Potential Problems in the Thesis Process in Higher Education: Analysis of e-mails to develop a support system
2015 (English)In: Education and Information Technologies: Official Journal of the IFIP technical committee on Education, ISSN 1360-2357, E-ISSN 1573-7608, Vol. 20, no 1, 21-36 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Autonomous learning hype has created much speculation in educational systems regarding how to develop the learning process. Final project (thesis) in Bachelor’s and Master’s levels is a significant part of study for students in higher education. However, there are some problems, which lead students not managing to do or finish their thesis. As a part of a solution to these problems, the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV) at Stockholm University, Sweden, has established an information and communication platform, called SciPro. The system was initiated in 2011 to support students and supervisors during the thesis process courses. This study contributes by exploring problems that learners have faced during the final project courses and analyzing discussed issues in the emails, sent to the SciPro support group, ThesisSupport. A random sample of one hundred emails has been analyzed with the help of a content analysis tool, in order to develop the categories, which cover the discussed issues. The result of the study shows six exhaustive and mutually exclusive categories of problems: 1) Thesis initiation (26 %), 2) Info-mail (4.7 %), 3) Technical issues (17.1 %), 4) Exemption (18.7 %), 5) Supervision (17.1 %), 6) Final seminar (16.4 %). Consequently, based on the significance of the categories, two groups of strategic suggestions are developed: 1) developing communications and 2) developing instructions. These strategies intend to enhance support for the autonomous learning process for the thesis courses in higher education.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 20, no 1, 21-36 p.
SciPro, Idea-bank, Thesis process, Learning process, Autonomous learning, Communication platform
Research subject Computer and Systems Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-96349DOI: 10.1007/s10639-013-9262-zOAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-96349DiVA: diva2:665494